New book from Fr. Rudy.
Click here for
Sunday in Ordinary Time
June 1, 2008 Year: A
Deut. 10:12-13, 11:18, 26-28, 32; Rom. 1:16-17, 3:20-26,
28; Mt. 7:21-27
"Moses spoke to the people and said: 'So now, Israel,
what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to
fear the lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to
love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments
of the Lord your God, and his decrees that I am commanding
you today, for your own well-being."
"You shall put these words of mine in your heart
and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your
hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead."
"See, I am setting before you today a blessing
and a curse: the blessing, if you obey the commandments
of the Lord your God that I am commanding you today;
and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of
the Lord your God, but turn from the way that I am commanding
you today, to follow other gods that you have not known."
must diligently observe all the statutes and ordinances
that I am setting before you today." [Deut. 10:12-13,
11:18, 26-28, 32]
"I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power
of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the
Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness
of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is
written, 'The one who is righteous will live by faith.'
For 'no human being will be justified in God's sight'
by deeds prescribed by the law, for through the law
comes the knowledge of sin."
"But now, apart from law, the righteousness of
God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and
the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith
in Jesus Christ for all who believe."
"For there is no distinction, since all have sinned
and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified
by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that
is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice
of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.
He did this to show his righteousness, because in his
divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously
committed; it was to prove at the present time that
God himself is righteous and that he justifies the one
who has faith in Jesus"
"For we hold that a person is justified by faith
apart from works prescribed by the law." [Rom.
1:16-17, 3:20-26, 28]
"Jesus went up the mountain with his disciples.
He sat down and began to teach them: 'Not everyone who
says to me, 'Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven,
but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.
On that day many will say to me, 'Lord, Lord, did we
not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your
name, and do many deeds of power in your name?"
Then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you: go away
from me, you evildoers.'"
then who hears these words of mine and acts on them
will be like a wise man who built his house on rock.
The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and
beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it
had been founded on rock. And everyone who hears these
words of mine and does not act on them will be like
a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain
fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat
against that house, and it fell - and great was its
fall!'" [Mt. 7:21-27]
The Noida murders of a little girl and the body guard
Hemraj have deeply disturbed the peace of millions of
parents in India. There is no evidence, yet it is largely
confirmed that the parents are involved in this gruesome
murder of their own daughter and the person who was
suppose to guard them. Yet another story of Maria and
Mathew in Bombay recently have shaken the foundations
of Christian family values, that killing of Grover and
then cutting the victims body into pieces before it
is destroyed in our neighbourhood at Manori (Thane District)
on 6th May. All these events point to a stark reality
that there is evil so near us but we never notice it.
All these events point to a deadly stark reality, that
is, easy money, easy fame, easy relationships, easy
life, and go with anything that is at hand.
In a survey of women it was found that 15 percent of
the ladies colored their hair, 38 percent wore a wig,
80 percent wore rouge, 98 percent wore eye shadow, 22
percent wore false eyelashes, 93 percent wore nail polish.
And 100 percent voted in favor of a resolution condemning
any kind of false packaging!
No one wants to be deceived. But many are deceived.
In Matthew 7:21-27 Jesus deals with the most dangerous
kind of deception: self-deception. The two categories
of self-deception are those of mere verbal profession
and of mere intellectual knowledge. The first, described
in vv. 21-23, involves those who say without doing,
and the second, described in vv. 24-27, involves those
who hear without doing.
Let it be remembered that Jesus is not speaking to irreligious
people here. He is speaking to people who are devotedly
religious, but lost.
The many deceived are those who profess Christ without
obeying Him and those who have an intellectual knowledge
of Christ without obeying Him. This morning’s text is
the invitation which Jesus gave to the “Sermon on the
Mount” in Matthew 5-7.
Not everyone who says to Me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter
the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My
Father in heaven. (22) Many will say to Me in that day,
“Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast
out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your
name?” (23) And then I will declare to them, “I never
knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”
(24) Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine,
and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built
his house on the rock: (25) and the rain descended,
the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that
house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the
rock. (26) But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine,
and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who
built his house on the sand: (27) and the rain descended,
the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that
house; and it fell. And great was its fall. (28 And
so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that
the people were astonished at His teaching, (29) for
He taught them as one having authority, and not as the
scribes. Matthew 7:21-29
I. Saying without Doing (False Professors) vv.
The first group are those who are deceived by their
false profession. They say without doing. The emphasis
in these verses is what these deceived ones are saying
(vv.21 and 22). The startling contrast to what they
professed is found in Christ’s profession to them in
v. 23, “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work
One of the amazing things about Jesus’ teaching about
the gospel is how far He said individuals can go in
religious activities without being a true child of God.
The works they do are only external. They are hypocrites
who say the right things but do not do them from the
These people even say, “Lord, Lord.” They were sound
and orthodox in their theology. They knew of Jesus’
lordship and even gave verbal assent to it, but they
reason they were turned away is that they didn’t submit
to His lordship by doing the will of the Father (v.
Not only were they sound in their theology they were
involved in doing things in Jesus’ name (3 times in
v. 22). Preaching, exorcism and miracles are not proofs
of true salvation. According to Jesus the only test
of the sincerity of our faith in Christ is our obedience
to “the will of the Father.”
What causes people to be so deceived? There are several
reasons, let me give you four reasons.
False Doctrine of Assurance.
They believe (many have been told this by preachers)
that just because they walked an aisle, raised a hand,
and said a prayer they should never doubt their salvation.
This is an unbiblical approach which leads to a second
reason of deception . . .
2. Failure of Self-Examination.
In 2 Cor. 13:5 Paul wrote, “Examine yourselves, whether
ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” We are to
look at the motives and desires of our heart to see
if we long for righteousness, even though we sin.
We are not to look for perfection in our lives to see
if we are truly Christians, but we are to look at our
desires. Does it grieve us when we sin? Do we repent
over our sin? Or do we enjoy living in sin? Can we continue
to live in sin without any remorse or desire to repent?
The Bible is very clear in 1 Cor. 6:9-10,
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit
the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators,
nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor
sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,
nor revilers, nor extortionists will inherit the kingdom
Don’t be deceived! If you can live in unrepentant sin,
you’re not saved.
3. Religious Activity.
Others are deceived because of their “churchianity”
or culture of “churchypeople”. Attending church, hearing
sermons, singing hymns, reading the Bible, attending
Bible studies, and many other good activities can actually
cause you to be more deceived if they make you think
you are faithful and obedient when in reality you are
not. Just like those in this passage who prophesied,
cast out demons and did many wonderful works, but Jesus
said “Depart from me, I never knew you.”
4. Balancing Out Approach.
Others are deceived because they think their good deeds
will one day “balance out” their bad deeds. So instead
of confessing sins and asking for forgiveness, a person
may simply try to do good in order to make up for their
sins thinking that the positive cancels the negative.
In January, 2002 Mike Tyson applied for a boxing license
in Nevada. During his hearing, he argued on the scale
basis. He said, “I’m not Mother Teresa, but I’m not
Charles Manson either.” His application was unsuccessful
and license denied.
Whatever the reason for your deception, if all you have
is a profession that hasn’t resulted in a changed life
then you are deceived and you are not going to be in
the kingdom. You are on the broad way that leads to
The words of an engraving from the cathedral of Lubeck,
Germany, beautifully reflect our Lord’s teaching here:
Thus speaks Christ our Lord to us, You call Me master
and obey Me not, you call Me light and see Me not, you
call Me the way and walk Me not, you call Me life and
live Me not, you call Me wise and follow Me not, you
call Me fair and love me not, you call Me rich and ask
Me not, you call Me eternal and seek Me not, if I condemn
thee, blame Me not.
II. Hearing without Doing (Foolish Man, Sand)
Our Lord now expands on the danger of the coming judgment
with a brief illustration. This is the conclusion of
the Sermon on the Mount. This illustration brings together
all Jesus has said up to this point.
In this section the emphasis is upon hearing, whereas
in the previous section the emphasis is upon saying.
This is an illustration of the contrast between those
who hear and obey and those who hear without obeying.
Although there are several similarities, there is one
BOTH BUILD (involved in religious work, active)
BOTH BUILD IN SAME AREA (same block, same church, Bible
studies, true Christians are side by side with the deceived,
i.e. wheat and tares)
BOTH BUILD IN THE SAME WAY (buildings looked the same,
only difference is in the foundation which was invisible
till the storm came)
FOUNDATIONS (Rock vs. Sand) Petra does not
mean a stone or even a boulder, but a great outcropping
of rock, a large expanse of bedrock. It is solid, stable,
and unmovable. Sand, by contrast, is loose, unstable,
and extremely moveable.
But the wise man builds his house upon a rock. The rock
spoken of here is God’s Word. Jesus said, whosoever
hears these sayings of mine, and does them. Building
on the rock is the equivalent of obeying God’s Word.
In Matthew 16, Peter confessed, “Thou art the Christ,
the Son of the Living God” and Jesus said, “flesh and
blood did not reveal this to you , but My Father who
is in heaven. And I say unto you that thou art Peter,
and upon this rock I will build My church.” This rock
is the same rock of Matthew 7:24-25. It is the bedrock
of God’s Word, His Divine revelation. It is the Divine
revelation such as was given to Peter by the Father
and is the only rock on which the Christian life can
EASY VS. HARD (quick results, quick evangelism)
Differences are only seen when the storm comes. The
storm with its rain, floods and winds sum up God’s final
judgment. Those who have built on anything other than
the Lord Jesus Christ will be utterly destroyed. Those
who have built upon faith in Christ and His Word will
be spared on the day of Judgment. The message Jesus
is proclaiming is clear, Judgement is coming!!!!! It
will then be painfully obvious to all which foundation
you have built upon.
The only validation you will ever have of your salvation
is a life of obedience to Christ. Not a date or an experience,
but your obedience to Christ is the only way to know
The book of 1 John was written so we could know that
we have eternal life. Listen to what John said in 1
John 2:17 “He who does the will of God abides for ever.”
Similarly James 1:22 says it this way, “But be doers
of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
At the end of the sermon, the crowd was “astonished
at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority,
and not as the scribes” (vv. 28-29).
But there isn’t a response of faith. Many seemed only
to watch and listen the same as in our day. They made
no decision and by not deciding they decided to stay
on the broad road which leads to destruction.
It is that very sort of thinking that keeps many people
out of the kingdom: the price is more than they want
to pay. They want their sins forgiven, they want to
go to heaven, they don’t want to go to hell, but they
don’t want Jesus messing with their lives!
New book from Fr. Rudy :
Short review of the book: This book is an out come of a
serious exegetical study on the important words and
texts from the writings of St John of the Cross. The
study deals with a short life and writings of the mystic
and then does a complete study on GOD, MAN and WAYS to
EXPERIENCE GOD. The book is available at: St. Joseph
Church, Near Holy Cross Convent School, Mira Road East,
Thane Dt. Maharashtra State - 401 107, India. Books can
be ordered through email:
The cost of the book is Rs.
125/- pp.xviii + 234, The Title of the Book is: THE
DYNAMISM OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH - An Exegetical Study on
St. John of the Cross, author: Dr. Rudolf V. D' Souza,
OCD, MA. PhD.
Dear friend, my
homilies will be posted on Thursdays and you can benefit
them and if you need more resources, you could contact
Let us make this ministry
fruitful one so that the Word of God becomes a source of
joy for me and for you and help people become more aware
of its riches. You are also welcome to share your
feedback with me. Thanks and God bless.